Fire Sprinklers Prove Their Life-Saving Value in Chicago Area High-Rise Fires
ORLAND PARK, Ill., May 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On Wednesday, May 7, a single fire sprinkler extinguished a kitchen fire in the Spinning Wheel Apartments high-rise building in Hinsdale. The fire occurred on the sixth floor of the 17-story building when a frying pan was left on the stove while the stove was left in the “on” position.
According to Tim McElroy, assistant chief of the Hinsdale Fire Department, the fire sprinkler system allowed the woman and young child to escape safely as it put water on the fire. All other residents also evacuated safely as the fire alarm sounded. Damage was estimated at only $6,000.
“Sprinkler systems save lives and protect property,” says McElroy. “In this case it saved many lives and helped protect this building from what could have been a major catastrophe.”
The successful fire sprinkler activation comes just two years after the fire sprinkler system successfully extinguished another kitchen fire on the eleventh floor of the same high-rise building on April 28, 2012. That fire was caused by unattended cooking oil left on a stovetop. Fire sprinkler limited the damage from that fire to $5,000 and no one was injured.
The high-rise building is currently in the process of retrofitting fire sprinklers to comply with Hinsdale’s adoption of NFPA 101 Life Safety Code. Roughly half of the building is protected with fire sprinklers so far, adds McElroy.
“The occurrence of two successful fire sprinkler activations in this high-rise building in just as many years greatly proves the value of retrofitting fire sprinklers in older high-rises,” says Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board. “Fire sprinklers protect occupants and allow them to safely escape. For high-rise building owners and managers, fire sprinklers protect their investment.”
The day after the fire sprinkler activation in Hinsdale, a fire sprinkler system in the basement-level parking garage of the Esplanade Apartments high-rise on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago contained an automobile fire.
Earlier this year on February 25, northwest suburban Schaumburg reported a successful fire sprinkler activation in the Village in the Park residential high-rise building. One fire sprinkler activated to extinguish a closet fire caused by an unattended candle in one of the units. In 2003, Schaumburg required fire sprinklers in all high-rises, including existing buildings by June 2012.
Another northwest suburb, Elgin, is currently in the process of retrofitting its high-rise buildings with fire sprinkler systems per through requirements in its codes.
About the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB)
NIFSAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting progressive legislation, raising public awareness, and educating code officials and governmental policy makers by demonstrating the proven performance of fire sprinklers in saving both lives and property. For more info, visit www.firesprinklerassoc.org.
SOURCE Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB)